By Ferdinand Patinio

JAMPACKED. Passengers crowd the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 check-in area in Pasay City on Friday (Dec. 22, 2023). The Manila International Airport Authority says there were 141,164 passengers on Dec. 21, breaching the management’s estimate of 140,000 daily passengers during the holiday season. (PNA photo by Robert Oswald Alfiler)

MANILA – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) recorded close to 60,000 arrivals leading to Christmas Day.

A total of 51,390 arrivals were recorded on the first day of December in all international airports.

The figure rose to 59,541 on Dec. 22 and 58,993 on Dec. 23.

BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco noted that more than 85 percent of passengers arrive via the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

He said a total of 31,408 departures were recorded on Dec. 23, higher than the 25,759 processed on Dec. 1.

He assured travelers that the BI is ready to serve the traveling public, deploying rapid response teams and augmentation teams to ensure efficient immigration processing.

Tansingco urged arriving Filipinos to use the e-gates for faster immigration clearance and reminded passengers to register via the etravel portal at etravel.gov.ph at least 72 hours prior to arrival or departure.

He lauded immigration officers who remain on duty during the holiday season.

“All hands on deck for our immigration officers. We commend our frontline personnel who remain on duty and sacrifice time with their families during the holidays to be able to service the traveling public,” he said in a statement. (PNA)